LETTERS: Quartz would help old clocks save face

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The Independent Online
From Mr Bob Musker Sir: How right that we should have a pride in our public clocks and the traditions behind them. But I wonder how many of them are still driven by the time-honoured method involving regular winding by a reliable local person.

Some years ago, I installed a weight-driven clock in the tower of our parish church. I had no difficulty finding the necessary weights, pulleys and other paraphernalia from local churches because they no longer needed them, their old clock mechanisms having been modified and now wound by electric motors.

A recurring difficulty is, of course, finding a strong young man who is able to climb the tower at a given time each week to wind the clock - in contrast to his predecessors who wound the earlier clock here every day for over 300 years.

Traditionally worked clock movements keep going during electricity cuts - as demonstrated here after the great storm of 1987 when ours proudly showed the right time long after others had stopped.

Yours sincerely, BOB MUSKER Headcorn, Kent 4 January